I have recently introduced a 1987 vintage LP12 into a 500 system that has great sentimental reasons as it was my mum’s, so it is here to stay.
I added a A Radikal, Karousel, Urika1 with Chord Shawline IC and Kyrstal cartridge.
It sounds great especially on some of the new quality vinyl I have recently bought.
But… My NDS sounds just so good that the majority of albums sound better on the NDS with added clarity, detail and punch.
Just like to understand from anyone with a similar setup on how much better can a LP12 sound?
What I like to avoid is to keep on ploughing money into the LP12 as well as new Vinyl and always have a gap with the digital front end?
There are lots of myths about Hi-Fi and one is that “vinyl is better than digital”. Quite often to me it is but equally my Nat 05 on R3 can out perform both my TT and CDS3. There are so many variables particularly with vinyl, stylus wear, set-up, pressing etc to make a final conclusion not really possible.
The trick is just to enjoy the music without carrying out a never ending comparison.
You’ll get many different opinions in answer to your question and as Lindsay says there are too many variables really to come to a conclusion - not least of course the variables between individuals and what they hear (or want to hear). Overall, I would say that any well produced and pressed records should sound very clear, detailed and musical on that LP12.
However, one question about your turntable would be, what bearing have you got? I would guess that it is not possible to have the Urika/Radikal without at least the Cirkus, but if the 1987 version has not been upgraded to the Cirkus at least then you are not making the best of the LP12. There is now the Karousel bearing which adds a further improvement, but your Linn is now quite highly specced and should sound great if properly set up.
What is ‘better’? Is it really clarity, detail and punch? Or is it emotional connection? Can’t they simply be different? As Lindsay says about Radio 3, I’m listening to it now on my NAT05, which cost me £240 a couple of years ago. The sound is absolutely stunning, so real and communicative. Better than my £12,000 streamer? Does it matter? My Rega P8 sounds great too. As good as the streamer? Maybe. Maybe not. Just enjoy them both. They are different, that’s all.
I don’t like the better comparison between digital and analogue, preferring to think about them being different and each having strengths. With some albums that I have on ripped CD and vinyl the difference seems very evident, on others it seems less so. This leaves me wondering if how the music was recorded, produced and mastered has a contribution to which medium works best for a particular album.
Thanks for your feedback guy’s.
When I moved from a CDS3 to NDS I was in a similar position in that the NDS did not connect musically until I changed the Interconnect to SL, got a Switch and experiment with Ethernet cables etc. The NDS still impresses me every day and I don’t need to judge it only enjoy the music.
It’s also so easy to compare, as it’s new I can’t help myself by playing the part of a audio critic which I don’t particular enjoy!
I have bought a lot of Vinyl over the last couple of months so I’m also learning if it’s better to buy new albums or duplicate my favorite CD/Downloads. I’m starting to lean towards buying new stuff that I haven’t got so I don’t need to compare and also I get to listen to more music.
Hi Clive, I got a Karousel bearing which is on the original Steel sub chassis.
For musical enjoyment I would expect your LP12 to be at least on par with your NDS.
One thing with the LP12 and Radikal/Urika (trampoline) you might want to check is that the foot beneath the motor don’t touch the motor. This significantly upset the musical flow. My dealer assured me this should not be an issue with my deck as he measured and checked this, still I could “lmagine” a positive difference if I replaced the foot with a loose foot next to the original. So, I still suspect that there might be an issue when the foot is loaded by the mass of the turntable.
Like you I have an upgraded older deck and my “issue” was before upgraded to a modern top-plate when I upgraded to Karousel and from std-radikal to Klimax radikal last summer. After that it just sounded so natural and dynamic so I even didn’t think of experimenting with the separate foot. So, two things changed the motor (but guess they should be very similar) and the top-plate, if I would guess it was the top-plate that made the difference in my case.
So my advise, talk to dealer and if you like to experiment try some alternative feet to release the pressure from the Urika feet…
There was long treads about this some years ago, I think started by @Peder
The LP12 update and service was done by the best @ Cymbiosis so feet should be good but will speak with Peter on Tuesday as they have a 2nd hand Sarum T Super Aray RCA interconnect that I might buy but it will involve a little diy from myself to fit.
I think you hit the nail on the head as I think it’s the quality of some of the Vinyl that is the problem. Some are lifeless that don’t do anything to me musically but seem to be better on the NDS. The last time I bought vinyl was in the 90’s and maybe this was not a great decade for this format!
Totally agree about the musical connection and not comparing but I’m just disappointed on some Vinyl that doesn’t hit that spot.
I’m also used to taking a punt on spending a few £’s on a CD or a relative cheap download then spending a lot more on Vinyl and not knowing for sure on how well it’s been recorded.
That’s all the answer we need really. The rest is just fluff.
You need a chord Dave
On of my friends sold his LP12 when he got a chord Dave
I have an NDS with 555PS, a CDS3 with XPS2 and an LP12 with Kore, Circus, Lingo 1 and Dynavector 10X5. Phono stage is Graham Slee Reflex M.
With the massive upgrades you have had done to your turntable I’m surprised you haven’t got at least a Kore. Also what’s your tonearm and has it been serviced?
An Ekos 1 or 2 or SE would be great.
I have an Akito but the bearings were shot so Audio Origami repaired them at upgraded the arm similar to Ekos level.
So I would look at Kore or Keel and your tonearm.
Other than that you have done everything you can.
Your LP12 is higher specced than mine. For me it is my favourite source but the NDS runs it close and is more versatile. The CDS3 is very musical.
Are you offering? If so yes please…
It’s already is at the back of my mind but would also bring the Keel into consideration but the Kore is in the more affordable camp. I’m not looking to max it out as it’s already a great sounding deck but just like to see how far it can go without spending too much more on it. Do you know what it would bring to the table?
I feel very blessed in having this turntable and we are all so lucky in having such great systems to enjoy in these times.
Back to a bit of Vinyl replay…
There’s lots of dodgy new LPs out there, many with “180g audiophile” printed on them but recorded from poor quality digital masters. Find a good quality analogue recording to use as a reference, just to have some assurance that it’s the software causing your problem not the hardware.
Technically we know the NDS has to be better than the LP12 but I always prefer using my LP12 for a session, it just seems easier to loose oneself in the music though I find it difficult to explain why this might be, but may be just because I’m old.
A mid specced LP12 costs a lot more than an NDS and should sound as good, if not better.
The quality of the vinyl will effect the sound and early pressings sound amazing on my LP12.
The Kore and Cirkus bearing really lifted my LP12. You get a clearer presentation and wider soundstage but loose the warmth!
I had an original bonded sub chassis and pre Cirkus bearing. I prefer the changes but some prefer the original LP12s that sound warmer and less detailed.
Each to their own. The Kore/Cirkus upgrade I had done made a big difference as described above.
You sound like a very greedy man Dan with 3 sources.
I kept my CDS3 for 2 years but it was just gathering dust so sold it on.
I think I sound a little harsh, it is sounding great and have been gob smacked on some impressive recordings that I much prefer over the NDS.
It’s the original Ekos from 87, I only originally was only going to make a few changes and live with it for a year or 2 but then decided I wanted to do it justice and move it further along.
Hold the line guys. The OP has already spent a fair bit on the LP12. My Xerxes is every bit the = of my CDS3/555 and the only upgrade has been the Vertere PSU, £1,200. I wouldn’t recommend throwing more money at it on a Kore or whatever without serious consideration.
I like variety! And with having problems with the Naim app at times with the NDS the CDS3 has been well utilised.
So you have a great tonearm. I take it bearings are good and all checked out?
In which case I would go Kore if you feel things aren’t right at the moment.
Then leave it alone. I would love a Radikal at some point and a Urika so I can free up a Fraim shelf!